Patterico's Pontifications


Then I Guess I’m Willfully Blind, Maureen

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:46 pm


By now you have to be willfully blind not to know that the imam in charge of the [Ground Zero mosque] project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the moderate Muslim we have allegedly been yearning for.

We are the ones we have been waiting for!

Oh . . . MoDo?

Allow me to quote the moderate Muslim Feisal Abdul Rauf regarding 9/11:

I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.


Why, he’s so moderate, he can’t tell you if Hamas is a terror organization:

According to the State Department’s assessment, “Hamas terrorists, especially those in the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have conducted many attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings, against Israeli civilian and military targets.”

Asked if he agreed with the State Department’s assessment, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf told WABC radio, “Look, I’m not a politician.

“The issue of terrorism is a very complex question,” he told interviewer Aaron Klein.

Not really. I mean, when you send rockets into Israel, and equip suicide terrorists with exploding vests, and such . . . there’s nothing too very complex about that.


Obligatory: Blago gets the Scooter Libby treatment; UPDATE: 11-1 Hang for Guilt

Filed under: General — Karl @ 3:10 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Rule Number One: Don’t talk to Fitz:

A federal jury found former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich guilty on Tuesday of one count of lying to federal agents, and the judge said he intends to declare a mistrial on the remaining counts.

Prosecutors said immediately after the verdict was read that they intend to retry the case against Blagojevich and his co-defendant brother as soon as possible.

At least Blago won’t be collecting his public pension (iirc).

Nathan Wurtzel reminds me via Twitter: “I killed him, I killed him, I killed him dead.”

 Discuss amongst yourselves.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Looks like it was an 11-1 hang for guilt on the remaining counts.

All it takes is one crazy juror.

UPDATE BY KARL: It was 11-1 on the charge of trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Obama, but the jury foreman adds that there were “often several holdouts on various counts.”

Fear and loathing at the Ground Zero mosque

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:37 am

[Posted by Karl]

There is plenty to go around, including among the defenders of the project. Their loathing explains their fear, so let’s start there. Cliff May captures much of the problem by reference to Paul Berman’s latest book, The Flight of the Intellectuals, which is largely devoted to examining how people were — and have been — duped into thinking Tariq Ramadan is a moderate Muslim leader:

Berman concludes that multiculturalism and moral relativism, doctrines devoutly embraced by the intellectual classes, render “everything the equal of everything else.” As a consequence, some very smart people have “lost the ability to make the most elementary distinctions.” Except one: They reflexively regard those from the Third World as virtuous and those from the West as steeped in blame, shame, and guilt.

So if Imam Feisal says he’s a moderate, he must be a moderate. Why read his books or inquire into what he preaches in his mosque or with whom he associates on his frequent trips to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and other exotic locales? Would we ask such questions of a Baptist minister building a church near Ground Zero?

Pascal Bruckner, a French writer and philosopher — and veteran of the debate over Tariq Ramadan — has a piece in the new City Journal describing how this sort of self-loathing is paralyzing Europe — or more accurately, Europe’s ruling classes.

Bruckner contrasts Europe with the US, probably understating the degree to which similar forms of loathing have infected America’s ruling class (and its hangers-on in the establishment media). Ever since Stalin went out of fashion, America’s hard left has groped from one anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, anti-Enlightenment, “noble savage” movement to the next: Mao, the Vietcong, Pol Pot, Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF, Castro, the Sandinistas, etc. America’s soft left has embraced the “noble savage” in its pop culture, from the lyrics of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” to James Cameron’s Avatar (unsurprisingly, the pacifist version of the “noble savage” is found more readily in fiction than fact). Moreover, the blame, shame, and guilt of the soft left is fed by the propaganda of their friends on the hard left.

The common denominator is an antipathy to US foreign policy. Thus, when America favored Israel in the 1967 war, the New Left shifted in favor of Israel’s enemies. When Islamic fundamentalism returned as a force on the world stage, uber-leftists like Michel Foucault cheered the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The claimed grievances of the Islamists are those of the left, making for an alliance of convenience at the least. Thus, the flags of Hezbollah and Hamas are waved by people wearing Che Guevara T-shirts at most any anti-war or anti-globalization demonstration in the West to this day.


L.A. Times Refuses to Tell Readers That Gay Marriage Stay Was Approved by Panel Including Two Clinton-Appointed Judges

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:27 am

A little touch of bias for you in the L.A. Times article on the gay marriage stay:

The 9th Circuit panel, which legal analysts said included a conservative, a moderate and a liberal, also indicated that the court has serious questions about whether the Proposition 8 sponsors have legal authority to appeal Walker’s conclusions about the constitutionality of the ban.

No mention of who appointed these judges, so I will just tell you: it’s two Clinton appointees and one Reagan appointee. Which indicates that a couple of Clinton appointees found possible merit to the appeal.

I love this:

UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said it was “understandable” that the court “would want to preserve the status quo” pending a final ruling.

But he said he believed Monday’s order could not “be reconciled with well-established law in terms of what is required for a stay.” To block the effect of a ruling, an appealing party must show that it is likely to prevail on appeal and that it will suffer irreparable harm unless the ruling is blocked.

Yeah, it’s a real head-scratcher. Maybe the article could note that the stay could be reconciled with well-established law, if the court thinks that the marriage defenders are likely to prevail, and can show they would suffer irreparable harm.

Of course, all these questions are rather moot now, in light of this line from the article:

The panel said the court would hear the Proposition 8 challenge on an expedited basis and hold arguments the week of Dec. 6. Another panel of three judges is expected to rule on the appeal.

Hmmm. Does anyone know who will be on the final panel?

Ninth Circuit Briefing Schedule Puts Gay Marriage on Front Burner for Governor’s Race

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:09 am

Republican Meg Whitman now has a wedge issue in the California governor’s race, if she chooses to use it.

She also has a more subtle but much stronger issue: the responsibility of elected officials to defend the people’s laws.

Here’s why. The Ninth Circuit’s briefing schedule calls for the last brief to be filed by Prop. 8 supporters on November 1, 2010. The court has ordered the parties to discuss whether the proposition’s defenders have standing on their own, given that the Attorney General and the Governor failed to fight for the law in court.

But here’s the thing: come November, there will be a new Attorney General in California — and perhaps more important, a new Governor. They will probably be sworn in before the appeals are decided. And the identity of the new Governor will probably decide whether California’s elected officials are going to join the appeal. (This assumes that procedural time limits don’t prevent them from joining an ongoing appeal by intervenor defendants. I don’t know the answer to this question, but my educated guess is that there would be no procedural bar, as long as the appeal is still live.)

Our current Attorney General, Jerry Brown, refused to defend Prop. 8 and would continue this path as Governor. Meg Whitman, by contrast, was a Prop. 8 supporter. Presumably she would move to join the appeal if elected.

And that could moot the whole standing issue.

The question for Whitman now is whether she wants to make an issue out of this. Prop. 8 won by a margin of 52% to 47%. And polls show increasing support for gay marriage as time passes. Who knows what a current California poll would say? (I’m sure we’ll learn soon.)

But regardless of how the polls look, Whitman should push this issue hard — and in doing so, should focus on another message: the responsibility of elected officials to uphold the laws. She could make this a broad-based issue — taking other more popular propositions as examples, and making the point that as Governor, it would be her duty to fight for the people’s laws in court, regardless of her personal views.

Jerry Brown won’t fight for your laws. Meg Whitman will.

That should be the message.

Let’s see if she delivers it.

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